LatinaLista — One characterization of Latinos that everyone likes to parrot is that as a group we don’t vote for the political party, as much as, we vote for the issues.
But when the issues are so intertwined with a party’s identity, that steadfast characterization runs the risk of being shattered.
It seems to be the case with the Latino community’s relationship with the Republican Party. After all, that’s how pundits explain how Bush was able to get so much of the Hispanic vote when he ran for office.
Yet, the Republicans are treating all Latinos these days like an abusive parent.
And the Latino Republican community is acting like abused children in that they refuse to speak out and defend themselves â€” or others.
In 2000, after witnessing some ignorant behavior by adult Republican delegates that verged on the border of being insulting towards several young Latino attendees at the Republican National Committee in Philadelphia, I turned to a friend who had been a lifelong Latino Republican and asked him why he would stay in a party that clearly did not know him.
His response was that he stayed in the hopes that things would change.
Well, seven years later and it’s obvious that things have not changed. Republicans don’t know their Latino members any better and Latino Republicans are still hanging in there hoping things will change.
The only thing that has changed is that the Republican Party’s attitude towards Latinos is far worse than it ever was and yet, we hear no condemnation or scolding or threats of leaving the party by a group of members who would have everything to gain if things changed within their party, and everything to lose at its current rate.
Sound too melodramatic?
How else can we describe a political party that seems to be devolving?
In this 21st century where people of color, who will outnumber whites, and have already in some cities, be so excluded, ignored and dismissed by one of the two major political parties of this country?
What’s even more puzzling is their own party members-of-color tolerate it. This has nothing to do with the stands on immigration or border security but it’s an issue of inclusion.
It’s very telling that the strongest advocate who hasn’t been afraid to speak out for the Hispanic voters to his Republican colleagues is none other than Karl Rove.
Donde estan los demas?
It’s bad enough that the only diversity among the serious Republican presidential candidates is their ages. Though the Democratic Party could use a bit more diversity, it’s got a headstart over a party that goes out of its way in its refusal to acknowledge that people of color are constituents that deserve equal time during this election.
I’m not just talking about the Univision debate and the Republicans’ refusal to appear or the invitations by different Latino groups during the summer that the Republican candidates refused to accept, or the failure of the GOP to acknowledge Hispanic Heritage Month and wish its Latino members accordingly; I’m talking about the latest snub.
The one extended to the Republican candidates to a PBS debate moderated by Tavis Smiley.
Though some of the candidates did accept, the four leading candidates turned it down.
And the GOP members-of-color are still saying nada?
It’s one thing to show an unified front even when there is internal disagreement, but it’s another to carry that unified front to the extreme when your own ethnicity is under attack by a party that claims to be representative of all.